PHE report on HIV and STIs during COVID-19

Public Health England

A provisional analysis from Public Health England (PHE) on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic response on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV and viral hepatitis service provision and epidemiology. 

Main findings include that between March and May 2020, there were reductions in: 

  • Consultations undertaken by sexual health services (SHSs) and specialised HIV services. 
  • Testing for viral hepatitis in drug services, prisons, general practice and SHSs. 
  • Testing for HIV and STIs in SHSs. 
  • Vaccination of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis A (HAV).
  • Diagnoses of viral hepatitis, HIV and STIs and hepatitis C (HCV) treatment initiations. 

Also from June 2020, there was an increase in HIV, STIs and hepatitis tests and diagnoses, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, following the easing of national lockdown restrictions. 

This reflects a partial recovery in service provision and demand. 

Nevertheless, numbers of consultations, vaccinations, tests, diagnoses, and treatment initiations in the summer of 2020 were considerably lower than in corresponding months in 2019. 


PHE. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on prevention, testing, diagnosis and care for sexually transmitted infections, HIV and viral hepatitis in England: Provisional data: January to September 2020. (December 2020). (html page) (PDF)

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